Residents should be encouraged to conduct clinical research

ATLANTA — Karl Barner, CPO, LPO, the NCOPE Residency Director at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, discussed the benefits of utilizing residents for research purposes at the Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics Annual Meeting, here.

Due to an increase in demands from insurance companies about the proven efficacy and functional outcomes of orthotic and prosthetic devices, the need for evidence-based research is high. And according to Barner, orthotic and prosthetic residents are good candidates for conducting this research.

“We want to encourage them to continue what they’ve learned in school,” Barner said.


Karl Barner


Barner outlined several guidelines for creating a resident research project. Clinicians need to identify the resident and find the right study for that resident, making sure that the study is relevant and valuable. Barner also said that is important to set rules and ensure that the study has goals that are realistic and attainable. After securing the necessary resources, Barner suggests developing a regimented schedule for the resident, possibly with an entire day each week devoted solely to research. It is also important to re-evaluate the research project after a few months to confirm that the project is on schedule. Lastly, it is important to accurately interpret and report the findings, and Barner encouraged working with a statistician, if possible.

“The benefit to the residents for doing research is that they will be able to publish and present, and they can put it on their resumes,” Barner said. “So it is a big career builder.”

For more information:

Barner K. Developing and optimizing research in orthotic and prosthetic residency programs. Presented at: Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics Annual Meeting. April 10-13, 2013. Atlanta.

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